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Cricket South Africa’s Protea Fire brand

Luisa Mazinter (Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Pretoria, Johannesburg, South Africa)
Michael M. Goldman (Department of Sport Management, University of San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA, and Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Pretoria, Johannesburg, South Africa)
Jennifer Lindsey-Renton (Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Pretoria, Johannesburg, South Africa)

Publication date: 18 April 2017


Subject area

Marketing, Sports marketing and Social media marketing.

Study level/applicability

Graduate level.

Case overview

This case, based on field research and multiple secondary sources, documents the 12-month period since early 2014 during which Cricket South Africa (CSA) developed the Protea Fire brand for their national men’s cricket team, known as the Proteas. In mid-2014, Marc Jury, the Commercial and Marketing manager of CSA set up a project team to take the previously in-house Protea Fire brand public. With the 2015 Cricket World Cup in Australia and New Zealand less than a year away, Jury worked with a diverse project team of Proteas players, cricket brand managers and external consultants to build a public brand identity for the national team, to nurture greater fan affinity and to mobilize South Africans behind their team for the World Cup. The project team developed a range of Protea Fire multimedia content as the core of the campaign. These included video diaries, scripts which were written by the Proteas players themselves, player profile videos, motivational team-talk videos and good luck video messages featuring ordinary and famous South Africans. Having invested in creating this content, the project team faced the difficult task of allocating a limited media budget to broadcast and amplify the content. Another significant challenge was to ensure that the Proteas team values were authentically communicated across all content, including via the social media strategy using Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. As the World Cup tournament kicked off on February 14th 2015, South Africa was well placed to overcome their previous inability to reach a final, although Jury wondered whether another exit in the knockout round would weaken the strong and positive emotions the Protea Fire campaign had ignited. With the last two balls remaining in South Africa’s semi-final game against New Zealand on March 24th 2015, and the home team requiring just five runs to win, Jury joined 60 million South Africans hoping that Protea Fire was strong enough. The case concludes with South Africa losing the semi-final game and Jury turning his attention to how the #ProteaFire campaign should respond.

Expected learning outcomes

This study aimed to analyse the development of a sport team brand and a megaevent campaign; to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of a marketing campaign; and to consider appropriate brand responses to the team’s failure to deliver on expectations.

Subject code

CSS 8: Marketing.



Mazinter, L., Goldman, M.M. and Lindsey-Renton, J. (2017), "Cricket South Africa’s Protea Fire brand", , Vol. 7 No. 1.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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